Holly Edmondston, New Zealand’s final competitor at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was continually competitive in the gruelling omnium event today and eventually finished 10th of the 21 riders in the event.

The omnium comprises of four races – scratch, tempo, elimination and points – all very demanding and full of sprints.

The 7500m scratch race was marred by two crashes on the last of the 30 laps, including a major incident that took out half a dozen riders. Edmondston did well to stay out of trouble and finished in ninth spot.

The next event was the tempo race, which was dominated by Briton Laura Kenny, one of those unable to finish the first race because of the crash. Edmondston lost a lap to the leaders in the tempo race, but finished 14th, so that halfway through the omnium, she was in 12th place overall with 38 points. The leader was American Jennifer Valente with 76 points.

In the elimination race, in which the last-placed rider on every second lap drops out, Edmondston was handily placed near the front for much of the journey, until she became the 10th rider eliminated.

That left her in 12th place overall going into the final event, the points race, where the riders ride 80 laps with a sprint for points every 10th lap.

Edmondson rode the points race strongly, picking up her share of sprint points and figuring prominently near the front. She finished fifth equal in the points race and that left her in 10th place overall in the omnium, with 67 points, 57 behind gold medallist Valente, even though the American had a crash in the points race.

Earlier in the men’s keirin, New Zealander Callum Saunders, hoping to qualify for the semi-finals after his impressive riding yesterday, was outplaced in his heat.

With four to go through, he was outmanoeuvred and did not feature in the sprint, finishing fifth.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games
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